Bali: Everyone’s happy place

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged – too much lazy time under an Oz sun! But, here I am in Bali, enticed from my GC cocoon by an invitation to a wedding in Nusa Dua and the chance to spend some extra time in Canngu, Tabanan and Kuta.

The wedding of our close friends was held at the St Regis in a stunning oceanfront villa. Blue skies, white waves lapping the beach, an ever smiling bride and groom and a happy mix of Aussies and Russians eating and drinking their way through the afternoon and night (and the next few nights as well!) made for one truly fabulous wedding. Terima Kasih Kevin and Vika!

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We stayed for 5 glorious nights at the stunning Mulia with its many pools, restaurants, incredible breakfasts, bars, spa, fitness centre and rooms. It was the ideal place for we wedding guests to mingle and enjoy each other’s company and we had an absolute ball here.

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After the wedding festivities we headed to Canggu. North of Seminyak, this place is sometimes dubbed the ‘Brooklyn of Bali’. Maybe not quite Brooklyn, but the gorgeous 12 room boutique hotel, ‘The Slow’, with its pool suites, breezy cafe, fabulous mix of music and incredible staff was the perfect place to spend a week. Built in the brutalist style with plenty of concrete and bits of timber, it blends well together. Art works plaster the walls, the green foliage is cooling and the food and drinks are sensational.

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I spent time at the beach drinking fresh coconut juice, eating nasi goreng at DDs Warung while hubby took to the waves on one of DDs longboards. The only blip blighting this cosy description was the plastic rubbish floating on high tide which makes me more determined not to use plastic. Many cafes serve drinks with glass straws and some shop keepers are not offering plastic bags for purchases, so good changes are happening.

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In Canngu, I did a spot of shopping, ate in the many cute cafes, had a daily massage, drank at the beach bars while listening to some good bands and enjoyed fabulous Japanese fare and sunset drinks at the Tugu Hotel’s roof top terrace with friends.

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The beautiful Spring Spa

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Sunset rooftop drinks at the Tugu

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Stunning Canngu sunset
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Tugu Hotel
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Tugu Hotel

Canngu is now my firm go to Bali destination. I had stayed here only once before in a 4 room guest house near Echo Beach (which I loved!), but this time staying at Pantai Batu Bolong for a week, made me an even bigger convert to this surfie grunge, yoga blessed, healthy eating haven that’s interspersed with stunning places like the Tugu Hotel and The Lawn.

Next stop was further north, past Tanah Lot at Tabanan. The Amarta Retreat offers chilled out beachfront villas amidst rice fields and coconut trees laden with fruit. It’s close to nothing and seriously good for the soul. The waves rolled in loudly on the black sand beach, the infinity pool looked like it was straight out of a travel magazine, the cool breeze blew constantly, the restaurant food and pina coladas went down well, the daily body scrubs and massages became addictive and I ploughed my way through several novels I found in the Retreat’s lobby. This part of Bali sees few tourists and it was a nice way to mix up our trip.

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Found a warung behind the Pantai Pasut sign that served ice cold Bintang!

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Nearby villages are the centre of clay tile making for the island. These dried coconut husks provide the fuel that drives the kilns. Sadly, the death knell is sounding for this once prosperous trade as stronger Javanese ceramic tiles find favour.
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What’s different about Tanah Lot this visit? Well, at high tide, safety signs are front and centre and lifeguards are on active duty! Word is, tourists continue to take risks at high tide by walking across the narrow stone bridge to the temple despite dangerous churning waves. Some even stop along the way to take selfies!

Our final stop was Kuta. Those who know me, know I have a soft spot for this place. It’s got a vibe that just can’t be replicated elsewhere.

I love ambling down Poppies 1 and 2 and the even narrower gangs that feed into these laneways, working my way towards Legian.

I like slipping into the stalls, choosing something to buy and embarking on the bargaining journey. ‘Little bit expensive,’ I say and then wait for the inevitable, ‘It cheap. Good quality. OK, I do special price for you.’

I like nipping into Fat Chow on Poppies 2 and feeding my face on Mekong rice paper rolls, Asian salads and banana smoothies.

The bars serve cold Bintang and frozen margarita and I can always find a spa for a soothing Balinese massage.

My favourite coffee shop, Bemo Corner is here and I enjoy visiting my Budi buddy for a heartfelt catch up.

We stayed at Amnaya which was an easy going hotel in Gang Puspa near Discovery Mall. It had what we wanted – lovely rooms with comfortable beds, substantial breakfasts, fitness centre, pool, wonderful staff and an easy run to the airport.

We always have a wonderful time in Bali and this trip was no different. We will return!

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3 thoughts on “Bali: Everyone’s happy place

  1. Hi Wendy and Tony, you guys certainly do get around. When you return, we must catch up. According to my weather app, there’s been a lot of rain in Bali. Just text me when you’re home. Will/ William 😃

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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